Somali Organization for human rights and integration was established in 2017 in Norway to carry out human rights work in Norway and Somalia. SOMI is a non-partisan, Non-Political, community owned, international Non-Governmental Organization that pursues to initiate and undertake programmes that support, protect, and enhance Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights of Somali communities in Norway and Somalia.
The establishment of SOMI followed a consultation within the Somali community in Norway to have an organization to protect and support their human rights needs in Norway and at the same time support and intervene human rights and humanitarian gaps in Somalia. The consultations revealed a gap with regard to human rights in Norway and other humanitarian interventions in Somalia. some of the gaps that need to be filled and opportunities that need to be exploited namely the deteriorating human rights and social issues within the Somali community in Norway, establishment of new federal government in Somalia with highest approval ratings and improving political situation in Somalia.
The creation of SOMI was therefore driven by the changes in human rights in Norway and Somalia; the gaps that were identified with regard to Human Rights in Norway and the emerging opportunities that have presented themselves with regard to political changes in Somalia. This center will be a place where refugees can meet and be supported to play a part worth the wider community and to also campaign for human rights, we will address day to day services and address psychological and human Rights of immigrants. Through programs we will welcome people into a save environment and make them wanted. we will have programs that will empower people to be independent and to have a productive life, further enabling a social inclusion
a) Human rights
When people know their rights, they can become empowered to stand up for them. SOHRI makes the Somali
refugees and immigrants in Norway and marginalized communities in Somalia aware of various human rights issues through dialogue forums, community theatre, community radio shows, workshops (community forums convened by a local administrator), mosques, and sporting activities. SOHRI advocates, strengthens and supports the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and migrant Somalis in Norway and expanding its activities in Somalia.
b) Integration of refugees and asylum seekers
Refugee and Migrant Integration Program is a dedicated program that advocates, strengthens and supports the integration of asylum seekers, refugees and migrant Somalis in Norway. SOMI regularly undertakes training of social workers, Somali refugee communities living in Norway on the rights and needs of refugees and migrants. If you your asylum claim have been rejected, SOMI will provide you a legal path through which you can fight your case. For Somali immigrants / refugees who have managed or granted refugee status or residency in Norway, SOMI will help you with document applications, application for housing, opening bank accounts and give you integration lessons. We would organize for programs to educate people on the culture and the language of the country we live in.
c) Child protection
Formation and training of child protection committees, community dialogue meetings, and support to community led initiatives on child protection, translation of key legal and policy documents into local languages (Somali), data collection on violation of children’s rights and supporting formal education for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Somalia and Norway.
d) Livelihood support – Poverty Alleviation
Provision of sustainable and profitable means of livelihoods, training of Income Generating Activities and financial management, support to women, youth, Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs’) to attain vocational skills and provision of basic start up tool kits to War affected youth in the community.
e) Youth Empowerment
SOMI intends to offer the youth as prospective global leaders in Africa and beyond an opportunity to experience and learn about leadership and entrepreneurship skills. The main goal of our organization is to plant hope in the minds of the youth and to bring about changes in their mind-set. Our focus is to enable the youth to contribute to the development of their communities with right mindset built upon leadership and entrepreneurship spirit. SOMI pursues proactive strategies to develop and empower youths to take on leadership and entrepreneurial roles in the communities. Empowering youths will provide a great opportunity to make Somalia economically prosperous and politically stable. Strategies that seek to improve the lives of youth would significantly affect the entire society. This requires providing time and opportunities for the youth to practice and grow as leaders, entrepreneurs, and solution makers. To motivate youth’s passion on key issues that affect their development by equipping youths with tools, knowledge, and resources and encouraging them to be the agents of social change. Moreover we will create programs for kids to keep them off the streets where we would create a successful, sustainable and a strong projects to help at risk youths.
f) Women Empowerment
The promotion and protection of women rights is critical to the advancement of the human rights agenda. SOMI is committed to promoting women rights and protecting them against exclusion and exploitation and is working on gender-sensitive, human-rights based solutions to improve the status of all women and to ensure that women are empowered through creation of income generating activities and building child friendly development spaces within Somali community centers in Norway to help and support women to remain the backbone of the community and better adapt child protection laws in Norway. Our promotion and protection of women rights is also replicated in Somalia to advocate and support rural women empowerment programs.
g) Psychosocial Support and mental health programmes
Multiplier TOT (training of trainees) module, development and implementation of community action plans on psychosocial support, follow up of formerly child soldiers in the community, provision of counseling services, community-based reception and rehabilitation of Formerly militant, referrals of severe cases to other specialized service providers.
SOMI has identified the post war/immigration effects in Somali communities both in Somalia and in Norway and will respond with Guidance and counseling to Somali immigrants in Norway and communities in Somalia through radio talk shows, Youth rehabilitation and skills promotion/capacity building center and community outreach.
For all Somali communities in Norway who have mental issues SOMI will help them access the right medical help they need.
h) Peace Building and Reconciliation.
Training of Women Support Groups and Youth Support Groups on peace building and conflict resolution, ongoing tracing and re-union, facilitation of community reconciliation and peace meetings, community and religious dialogues and consensus building on traditional justice systems, interactive games and sports among children and youth, development and implementation of peace, action plans, and dissemination of Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials to provide acceptance and reintegration.
i) Advocacy and legal services
The program provides free legal services to needy asylum seekers, refugees and migrant clients in Norway and Somalia. Litigation is used as a tool to advance our clients’ rights and to develop jurisprudence in the field of human rights, refugee and immigration law. The program’s litigation activities focus on impact litigation with precedent-setting value. SOMI also undertakes vigorous detention monitoring which documents the human rights abuses suffered by Somalis in Somalia and migrants in the detention and deportation process in Norway, and advocates for policy reform. Legal assistance and representation is also given to those who have been unlawfully arrested by government in Somalia and those who are at risk of deportation in Norway.
j) Cultural preservation
SOMI is Charged with protecting the cultural and historical resources of the Somali community both in Norway and Somalia, our organization seeks to promote and preserve traditional skills and art forms including traditional building methods, wood carving, and weaving. SOMI has made preservation of Somali language, culture and history a top priority for all of its members, especially the youth.
Through their various projects and collaborations with other programs, both programs seek to inspire other to preserve and protect our language and culture. It is through our collective efforts that we will ensure the culture, traditions, and language of our people will continue for future generations to come.
k) Emergency and relief
Provision of food aid, training in food security and agricultural rehabilitation to formerly displaced returnees, people affected by drought and floods which resulted to famine in Somalia.
a) To uphold and champion the human rights of Somali immigrant in Norway
b) Creating avenue for advocacy for human rights, peaceful resolution of conflicts and sustain socio- economic development among Somali communities.
c) Right to Adequate Housing and Safety in Impoverished Neighborhoods
d) To empower Somali community in Norway to have productive life and achieve economic independence and contribute to the development of Norway
e) To advocate for a society whereby children and youth have equal rights and opportunities for growth and development.
f) To bring to the public attention the human rights agenda in order to empower the immigrant communities to achieve enabling social inclusion.
g) Improved access to education and psycho-social well-being of Somali children and youth and keep them off the streets.
h) Increase household income through self-help projects hence eradicating household poverty among the victims of armed conflict and marginalized communities in Somalia.
i) To achieve build a community Centre for Somali community in Norway, a center which will facilitate and enable SOMI to accomplish its activities for the community and address their needs.
j) To enhance the promotion, protection and enhancement of economic and social rights and equitable development among the vulnerable and marginalized groups in Somalia
“A society that respects and upholds human rights and human dignity”
“To promote social justice, human dignity and human rights in Norway and Somalia through research, capacity building, humanitarian interventions, advocacy and public interest litigation”
– Respect for Human Rights – Commitment to Social Justice – Integrity and Transparency – Professionals – Accountability
HOW WE WORK
We are registered as an NGO – We work non-hierarchically using decision making
We have a committee – We encourage every Somali to be part of this project
Consultations various legal and social issues – Qualitative communication